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The Dynamics of Household Economic Security Around A Birth

  • Institute for Research on labor and Employment 2521 Channing Way Berkeley, CA, 94704 United States (map)

Alexandra Stanczyk, Postdoctoral Scholar at the School of Social Welfare, UC Berkeley

Newborns require a lot of resources. And with the changes in income composition that come with a birth, many families face financial uncertainty. This has implications for children’s health and development, women’s economic security, and public program design. This research finds that households see significant and enduring declines in economic security before and after a birth, with especially large income drops for single mothers who live alone. Exisiting safety nets buffer these declines, but they do not eliminate them. More generous and timely income supports, as well as policies facilitating mothers’ employment, could shore families up during this critical period.